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2003-09-25

Hi again! If you hadn't noticed, I am traveling around the US and writing about it. I am looking for nice, fun people who can put me up for a few nights and feed me and pay my way (since I am broke) and show me a good time (since I like good times). If you think it might be fun to host me for a day or two or three, email me at justingrace AT mac DOT com with your info and address and phone number. I am especially looking for places to stay in the southern USA. I will be traveling all over, but here are the places I will be in the next few weeks that I am still looking for a place to stay at:

Texas: Between Las Cruces, NM and Austin TX
Texas: Between Austin, TX and Louisiana
Mississippi
Alabama
Tennessee
North/South Carolina

Thanks in advance for your help! And now...



US Tour Day 9: The Day I Officially Decided That Having A Job Totally Fucking Sucks, And I'm Not Kidding.

Today I spent the day swimming and lounging around a pool in the hills above Los Angeles. I drank many margaritas and had great talks with some friends.


Someone asked me recently if I was "OK with being unemployed". Now, I feel very 80's by saying this, but, is there any response more appropriate than, "DUH!?"

Everyone smoked cigarettes but me. I've never smoked a cigarette to this day, not one. It's probably the only thing I haven't done. I like to keep it that way because I like to know that there is still one last thing which is dirty and unhealthy and bad for me that I have not yet experienced and never will. It is my last line in the sand, my final answer. And, it's like a little faith pamphlet I keep in my back pocket to remind myself, "Hey, sure you may be the most filthy, perverted, offensive, defiled, used–up man on the planet. Every ounce of your being has been varnished over with sex and drugs and bodily fluids from who the hell knows where. But, hey! Your lungs are still virgin and pink. You're OK."


NEWS FLASH: MY LIFE IS TOTALLY WAY FUN AND RAD. Just think, I could've been in my office, trying to keep a positive attitude about spending the best hours of the best years of my life in a tiny, windowless office full of computers. Note to self: choose job more wisely next time, make sure they have a pool and margaritas.


Here we see Justin modeling the LA County Coroner's beach towel in red.

At many moments throughout the day I observed how much better it was to be reclining on a raft in a pool in the Los Angeles hills drinking margaritas than it would be working at my old job. I imagined my ex–coworkers doing something worky like plugging in a set of USB speakers or anything to do with UNIX and I just couldn't see how that would be more fun than being in this swimming pool. Fuck the money. I was happy.


Give a man a fish and he eats once. Teach him to fish and he eats forever. This is the day I learned to make margaritas.

But, drinking all day took its toll on me. By 7 PM I was a little hung over and tired. My dinner plans flaked on me, and I sat on one of the many couches here at Theory Labs—depressed and disappointed. The MOUS guys buzzed around the Lab, preparing for tomorrow night's reading of their new screenplay, Ashton Kutcher Pinches Loaves for Dick.

I called Hillary to see if she would keep me company. She said she was sick with some fever or something, and I of course started to speak with her as if she had cancer and was going to die immediately if not sooner. Whenever anyone is sick I do this—it's this little escalation game I play.

It starts when a friend says something like, "Oh, I think I may have a little bit of a cold." Or, "So and so has been out sick with a sore throat."

It's like there's this big pleasure sensation button in my head, all 1950's stylized and sexy with a flashing red light and polished, metal surroundings like you see in those neo–retro diners. And, each press of this space–age pleasure button sets off klaxons of perverse joy that shake the whole facility and vibrate through my marrow and out my finger and toetips. I push that little button like a boy who has just discovered that, contrary to what his mother says, his penis actually is a toy as I ask "How is your spinal meningitis?" or, "A lot of people die from that spinobifida, isn't that what you have?" or "It's too bad that you are dying of brain cancer. You are going to die."

Ah, but Hillary was kind and warm and she even put up with my stupid misappropriation of language. She was very wonderful, and her fever didn't keep her from being willing to accompany me to a late dinner in Chinatown. I felt so much better to sit with her and talk and eat.

I'm stoked on my new friend. This whole traveling around and meeting new people who are wonderful and warm and overflowing with love thing is really working out for me. I feel like I have so much more family than I knew.


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